In a recent report, it was announced 1 in 5 employers were now missing their staging date and therefore not complying with workplace pension regulations.
In the first quarter of 2016, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) issued over 50 non-compliance Statutory Notices to individual employers every single working day for unpaid pension contributions alone.
How can this be? Had they not heard? Or maybe they had heard but didn’t think it applied to them. Or perhaps they just failed to get the support and advice they needed or deserved.
Over the same 3 month period, the Regulator issued every day an average of 13 Fixed Penalty Notices of £400 and almost 100 Escalating Penalty Notices. Indeed to add some colour to TPR’s report they included a real-life case study.
The case study explains how Swindon Town FC ended up paying fines totalling £22,900 for, in part, failing to pay pension contributions due of £13,613. The report doesn’t say what fees were paid to the auto-enrolment adviser firm who fixed the problem, no doubt far greater than if they had managed to get it right first time.
So who is responsible for this sad state of affairs? Well in my view we all need to take some share of responsibility.
Automatic enrolment was introduced with a threat of fines for non-compliance. For many small employers and their advisers this threat, like their staging date, was a long way off. But time flies and this year and next it is the turn of almost 90% of UK employers to comply. They must act now.
Calvert Financial Solutions, based in North Scotland, offer an end to end workplace pension solution to suit all budgets – don’t risk being caught out by leaving it to the last minute, contact us today.